Monetary Support Steering for Divorced or Separated Households – School Support Professional



What Constitutes a “Divorced or Separated Household” for School Monetary Support?

Schools don’t see a distinction between a divorced or separated family.  If you happen to file tax returns individually AND are separated out of your accomplice, schools think about you a two family household.

How Does a Two Family Household File Monetary Support Types?

It is dependent upon the faculty!  There may be by no means an easy reply.  It’s essential to take a look at schools like a enterprise. All companies function a bit differently- identical to all schools.  One of the simplest ways to know how the universities you have an interest in deal with two family households is to succeed in out to the faculty monetary help division, clarify your loved ones state of affairs, and ask for steering.

2023-2024 Monetary Support Types

Federal Methodology (FAFSA)

Colleges that use the FAFSA, or the federal methodology for monetary help eligibility solely require the custodial mother or father to fill out the FAFSA. This implies solely ONE family recordsdata the FAFSA in a two family household state of affairs. The family that recordsdata is the mother or father who the coed lives with, or lives with extra.

If the custodial mother or father is remarried, then the custodial mother or father and the step-parent’s mixed info is entered on the FAFSA to find out monetary help eligibility.

Institutional Methodology (CSS Profile)

The CSS Profile is used to find out a scholar’s eligibility for institutional help by about 300 schools and universities. The CSS Profile is used  to present out grants, scholarships, and loans immediately by the universities.

These faculties additionally use the FAFSA which determines a scholar’s eligibility for federal help.  In consequence, you might be eligible for help from each the federal pot of cash with the FAFSA and the institutional pot of cash with the CSS Profile.

The CSS Profile takes a extra in depth have a look at your loved ones’s monetary state of affairs and requires extra info.  Click on right here to see in case your school or college requires the CSS profile.

Most colleges that require the CSS profile would require each the custodial and non-custodial households to finish an software.  Within the hyperlink above you possibly can see if the non-custodial mother or father is required to fill out the CSS Profile in your faculty. If each households are required to finish it you’ll full separate purposes and nobody will see one another’s info.

2024-2025 Monetary Support Types

For the 2024-2025 faculty 12 months, the FAFSA will likely be altering!  This may have an effect on the way you fill out your FAFSA within the fall of 2023. In case you are a divorced or separated household the FAFSA will now not be the custodial mother or father’s accountability.

The FAFSA will likely be filed by the mother or father that gives probably the most monetary help. It gained’t matter who the coed lives with anymore, however as an alternative who financially helps the coed extra. This will not be the custodial mother or father.

This will likely make issues a bit extra difficult and complicated for divorced or separated households, however remember- we’re right here to assist! We’ll provide help, steering, webinars, and extra weblog posts in regards to the upcoming FAFSA adjustments as we get nearer to subsequent fall.

Monetary Support Suggestions

Take note of the particular monetary help necessities for every faculty you’re making use of to. Each faculty could require one thing totally different for monetary help eligibility. It’s YOUR accountability to maintain them straight, submit the proper types, and meet the deadlines!

In case you are a divorced or separated household there are just a few extra nuances to the way you file for monetary help, nevertheless it’s not inconceivable!  When you’ve got any questions, please ask!





Simple strategies to Use MyCAP’s Award Analyzer – Is Your Financial Help Provide Worth Fascinating? – College Help Skilled


Hey Seniors! Congrats on making it to the ultimate semester of highschool!  You’re almost achieved with this chapter and prepping for the next one- COLLEGE!

First congrats on getting into your faculties! YAY! That’s an unlimited accomplishment and should be celebrated.  Now lets try your financial help award letters and see in case you got the right deal in your preliminary affords, or in case you must enchantment any of your affords.

Create a MyCAP Account (for FREE!)

The only means to do this is through your MyCAP account.  Within the occasion you don’t have an account however, chances are you’ll organize a FREE account proper right here.  The free mannequin will will allow you to add 3 colleges to your dashboard and add financial help award letters from these three colleges.

In case you will have larger than three letters that you just simply wish to add and analyze, chances are you’ll enhance to one among our paid variations.

Using the Translate & Look at Perform  in your MyCAP Dashboard

1. Click on on on the Translate & Look at tab on the left hand side of your dashboard. You’ll notice this show.

2. Click on on on Add Provide and kind the determine of the faculty whose financial help award letter you want to add into the sector.

3. That’s the subsequent show that will pop up.  It is asking you so as to add your award letter.  Remember to have your letter saved as a pdf, jpg, or png file. Click on on Select file and add your financial help award letter out of your computer.

With out this add we are going to’t analyze your financial help award letter!

4. While you add your letter, you’ll discover the file uploaded to your profile and blue subject beneath it says Translate Provide Letter.

5. Click on on on the Blue Translate Provide Letter and you’ll discover this show whereas your letter interprets.

6. As quickly because the interpretation is full you’ll discover one among two show selections.

This show displays that you just simply had a worthwhile add.  Our software program program experience was ready to be taught the numbers and translate them.  Be at liberty to on a regular basis double confirm that the numbers had been inputted appropriately by evaluating what’s in your provide letter to the numbers listed on the show.  You presumably can go in and manually edit these.

If our software program program experience was not ready to translate your uploaded letter, you’ll discover the following show. No should stress though- you might need two selections.  First, in the event you want to finish this correct now, shut this show and chances are you’ll manually enter all the information out of your award letter into the appropriate courses on the Translate & Look at net web page.

You’ll want to guarantee now now we have the correct Worth of Attendance listed; if not exchange that to what your award letter states.  Then enter any need-based grants, or merit-based scholarships the faculty has awarded you. Enter any Backed or Unsubsidized mortgage portions the faculty has supplied. Lastly save your show.

Within the occasion you don’t want to manually enter the information, anyone from the MyCAP crew will consider your award letter and exchange your Translate & Look at show to match your award letter and notify you by e-mail after they’ve achieved the consider.

As quickly as this step is full you’ll discover your faculty is uploaded into the Translate & Look at tab.  You’ll notice  your remaining worth for the upcoming faculty 12 months in daring numbers.  That’s amount relies in your financial help award letter that you just simply merely uploaded. Subsequent step – the Contemplate & Enchantment tab.

Evaluating Your Uploaded Provide

Sooner than our award analyzer can effectively take into account your provide you need to simply be certain you will have:

  1. Added the faculty to your Dashboard beneath the Retailer for Faculties tab
  2. Completed your profile to 100%


Within the occasion you haven’t achieved these, your award provide shouldn’t be going to be analyzed.


Should you click on on in your Contemplate & Enchantment tab, you will note your uploaded and translated award letter.


Proper right here you’ll discover the first amount that is in daring is the net worth for the upcoming 12 months in line with your financial help award letter.

The next amount is what our MyCAP software program program projected to be your net worth for the upcoming 12 months.

And finally, you’ll discover the excellence between these two numbers.  We moreover share some knowledge on why an enchantment may be warranted.

  1. Amount Awarded
  2. Methodology
  3. Family Consideration
  4. Distinctive Circumstances

All of these will rely in your explicit family situation and your award provide. You obtained’t primarily get all of these parts for each provide.

Lastly we’re going to let you already know your possibilities on an enchantment.

We hope this new perform helps you analyze your awards and actually really feel additional assured about transferring forward with an enchantment at positive colleges and why an enchantment may be warranted. 



Acceptance Letters VS Financial Assist Letters – Faculty Assist Skilled


What’s the Distinction Between an Acceptance Letter and a Financial Assist Letter?

Acceptance Letters

An acceptance letter will come from the school’s Office of Admissions.  This letter is your congratulatory announcement that you have been accepted! You submitted your software program, it was reviewed by the admissions office, and the school is offering you a spot of their scholar physique.  Congratulations!!! You most likely did it!

Usually these letters may also level out a doable profit scholarship and amount that you just’ve been awarded on account of your admission software program.  Not all colleges embody this of their acceptance letter though, so must you don’t see one thing about scholarship money however, it’s okay!

Financial Assist Letters

A financial help award letter comes from the school’s Office of Financial Assist and descriptions full worth, what the college is offering you, and the way in which so much you are required to pay for the upcoming yr.

First it’s best to see the COA or Worth of Attendance.  Ideally the school will break this down into direct costs (objects which will appear in your bill and you may pay on to the school) and indirect costs (objects that will not appear in your bill nonetheless are estimated costs associated to going to highschool and have to be included in your worth vary.)  This is a breakdown of direct and indirect school costs that make up the Worth of Attendance.

Direct Costs

  • Tuition and Costs
  • Room and Board

Indirect Costs

  • Books and Supplies
  • Transportation
  • Insurance coverage protection
  • Personal Payments
  • Leisure

Subsequent it’s best to see what the college is offering you throughout the sort or profit help or need-based help.  These will possible be laid out for the yr and usually broken down by semester or quarter, based mostly totally on the school.  There’ll possible be a separate line for each profit scholarship or need-based grant you should have been awarded.

You may additionally see direct scholar loans in your financial help letter.  These are loans that belong to the scholar and are provided as a price chance when you will have submitted your FAFSA.

In the event you’re eligible, you may also see work study, mum or dad loans, or loans provided instantly by the school.

When Will I Get These Letters?

You will get hold of your acceptance letter first.  Counting on HOW you utilized for admission – early dedication, early admission, or frequent dedication, may dictate WHEN you get your financial help letter.  These two letters acquired’t come collectively.  Usually your financial help letter can current up as early as only a few weeks after your acceptance letter, or as late as only a few months.

If in case you will have questions and haven’t heard one thing from the school, go ahead and attain out to the financial help office.  They might be succesful to offer you explicit knowledge referring to your case.

How Will I Get These Letters?

That’s one different question that is explicit to each school. Most colleges and universities nonetheless ship out acceptance letters throughout the mail.  They might moreover ship you an e mail and an invitation or hyperlink to a scholar portal.

Do you have to get hold of entry to a scholar portal envisage to study it repeatedly!  Faculties generally tend to make use of those portals to share and ship important and nicely timed knowledge to accepted school college students.

Your financial help letter may also be mailed to you, nonetheless higher than probably one can discover it in your scholar portal as correctly.  In case your financial help letter is uploaded to your portal, you can get hold of it, put it apart, print it out, and even add it to your MyCAP profile to assist with evaluating and evaluating your financial help provides!

Now What?

You’ve gotten your all your acceptance letters and all you’ve gotten the entire corresponding financial help letters. Now it’s time to test apples to apples.  You can lay out all your financial help letters, add them to your MyCAP account or just pull all of them up in your laptop.  Do what works best for you.

You want to truly understand what each school is offering; how so much you are getting in profit help, how so much you are getting in need-based help, how so much is obtainable in loans and do you want to take them, and the way in which so much are you proceed to answerable for?

Whenever you’ve acquired a take care of on the utterly totally different provides it’s time to test and distinction.  Who’s supplying you with the right deal?  Is the out of pocket costs one factor you can afford?  Are loans worth it?

Lastly, it’s time to see if you happen to’re an ideal candidate for an enchantment.  Your financial state of affairs may look utterly totally different than it did when you submitted your varieties once more throughout the fall.  You may need acquired additional profit at an identical school and will probably enchantment based mostly totally on that. Or probably you’ve had a family state of affairs that modifications points.

Using the MyCAP think about and enchantment machine may current a bit additional notion on doable enchantment potential as correctly.

Take into account, analyzing your financial help letters is an important step on this course of!  You’re just about on the tip line, so don’t decelerate now.  Acquire and consider the small print and figures to make a secure dedication on the right school match. And congrats!  Faculty is only some months away!!




Don’t Be Fooled by Your Financial Award Letters


This publish was updated on March 9, 2023. It was initially printed on March 23, 2021.

We could even be web internet hosting a specialty webinar on this topic on Thursday, March 16, at 7:00 PM EDT. All are welcome to attend. Register freed from cost proper right here.

Faculties are mailing financial help award letters to a whole bunch of hundreds of college-bound faculty college students, and these faculty college students should make their enrollment alternatives by the May 1st deadline. Many faculty college students might have quite a lot of affords, and households ought to find out which award present is best.

Proper listed below are some issues to watch out for when reviewing your financial help award letter(s):

The Entire Worth of School

Award letters can seem pretty generous if all the costs shouldn’t listed. Many award letters solely current basic costs, equal to tuition, room & board, and books and supplies. Nonetheless, tuition can fluctuate counting on the provision of programs, and there are typically prices hooked as much as tuition costs.

Room and board can also fluctuate counting on the meal plan and lodging chosen. Many faculty college students, as an illustration, will purchase snacks all through the day or seize Starbucks to get started throughout the morning. It is vitally vital remember that these payments add up; perhaps, the full-blown meal plan is not going to be very important in your scholar.

Books and supplies may additionally be understated: a $1,000 worth vary for books and supplies can dwindle quickly when many textbooks worth $100 or additional, and a laptop computer pc can eat up that whole worth vary. Gives and prices may additionally be far costlier alone for engineering, art work, and laptop science majors.

Furthermore, journey costs and personal payments should not typically lined throughout the financial award letter nonetheless can add as a lot as $3,000 per 12 months or additional.

In case your full worth of attending that particular person school is simply not represented, the financial help award letter can look pretty good.

Proper right here’s a little-known means you’ll get the bottom-line complete worth of attending a particular school: merely identify the college’s financial help office and state that you just need to know all the amount of Federal Direct and PLUS loans you’ll be able to borrow to your full 12 months of college. That dollar amount could be the “true” complete worth of that school.

Share of Need Met and The Missing Anticipated Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is the dollar amount the family is anticipated to contribute for school payments yearly sooner than any financial award is given by the college. The EFC relies on the outcomes of the family ending the FAFSA (Free Utility for Federal Pupil Help) or the CSS Profile, along with totally different institutional sorts.

Faculties that use the CSS Profile can mainly create their very personal EFC for you. They may present additional questions in Half Q which might enhance your EFC dramatically.

The EFC couldn’t even be confirmed on the family’s financial help award letter; in these circumstances, identify the college and ask in your EFC so it is doable you will determine whether or not or not the college is meeting 100% of your family members’s “financial need.” Then, look at this share collectively together with your totally different award letters. Devices like TuitionFit could make it simpler to look at award letters for specific colleges so that you’ve got greater data when analyzing the costs and understanding how quite a bit help is possible.

One-Yr Awards or Scholarship Frontloading 

Faculties might award the scholar grants or scholarships throughout the first 12 months, solely to remove them in subsequent years. The one means you might be prepared for that’s by asking the financial help administrator of each school what’s required to renew each grant and scholarship throughout the following years. This generally is a must-do! To have a grant or scholarship eradicated completely by the college after the first 12 months can enhance your costs drastically and put your family members in financial jeopardy.

PLUS Mortgage Maneuvering

Some financial help awards might bundle loans together with grants and scholarships, or in some circumstances not even use the phrase “mortgage” to elucidate the award given. You would possibly even see award letters with grants and scholarships, the scholar’s Federal Direct mortgage, and the huge Dad or mum PLUS mortgage on the bottom, nonetheless guess what? The complete amount of that award merely happens to equal your full worth of attendance on the award letter.

I’ve labored with households who believed that their whole worth of college was lined by the college. At a 4.228% origination worth and 7.540% curiosity, that could be an unlimited mistake; a college mortgage for 11.768% is NOT an outstanding deal!

The School Funding Coach Is Proper right here to Help

Financial help letters could also be very difficult to households; that’s the place working with a School Funding Coach will assist alleviate the stress whereas attempting to make the proper alternatives for you and your scholar’s financial future.

If you happen to want to understand all of the items your letter accommodates and guarantee you might be avoiding costly errors, you’ll schedule a free session with one in all our coaches to answer your questions.

Finally, the a lot much less the scholar borrows, the a lot much less scholar mortgage debt they might (otherwise you’ll) ought to repay. Who doesn’t like saving 1000’s of {{dollars}} in potential curiosity?


James L. Hicks, CFP®, ChFC®, ChSNC™, CFBS, CLU®, CPFA®, MBA










Related Learning:

A Peek Behind the Curtain of School Pricing

The Financial Help Appeals Course of: A Data to All of the issues You Need to Know

8 Concepts for Writing a Worthwhile Financial Help Enchantment Letter



What’s A Financial Safety Faculty? Should You Have at Least One on Your Faculty Report? – Faculty Help Skilled


A “financial safety” college is a college that your family members can afford. It is always a very good suggestion to have your pupil put on the very least one amongst these on his or her college document.

I’ll bear why it’s best to embody a financial safety college, simple strategies to determine what qualifies as a financial safety college to your family members, and the best way your pupil can uncover good financial safety schools.

Why Embody a Financial Safety Faculty?

Straightforward reply – in case your pupil’s completely different excessive schools is not going to be cheap.

The households who should embody a financial safety college embody any of the following:

  • Your pupil is looking at very aggressive schools that are not generous with financial help and you will’t afford the entire sticker worth.
  • You should have run the Web Worth Calculators on MyCAP and it doesn’t look likely that you will qualify for any, or lots, help.
  • You don’t have limitless funds saved in your baby’s college coaching.
  • Your pupil is attempting for big benefit scholarships which could be awarded to solely a small number of school college students, so your pupil may or won’t get hold of these.
  • You is perhaps counting on schools coming via with additional benefit help or need-based help than what the net worth calculators are indicating.
  • Chances are you’ll solely afford a university within the occasion you get exactly what’s displaying for help on the internet worth calculator (or additional.)
  • You is perhaps unsure of your future talent to afford a university (probably on account of it’s best to have a number of pupil in class eventually.)

What Qualifies As a Financial Safety Faculty for Your Family?

Straightforward reply – one you could afford with out taking out high-interest loans.

Further tough reply – make certain you will have calculated out how lots you could afford yearly.

Ask your self the following:

  • What does my pupil have in class monetary financial savings? Divide this out over 4 years to get an approximate amount you must use per 12 months.
  • What can my pupil earn each summer season season to contribute in the direction of the next 12 months’s college bill?
  • What can we contribute via month-to-month cash flow into?
  • Are there completely different household, like grandparents, who will kick in a sure amount yearly?

Add all of these as a lot as give you a yearly entire you depend on to have the power to contribute.

On excessive of this, you can have 3 potentialities:

  • Benefit Help (along with institutional benefit scholarships instantly from the colleges and private scholarships)
  • Need-based “Free” Help – this may include need-based scholarships and grants
  • Loans


I am not a fan of loans, nevertheless many households cannot cowl the value of faculty with out them.

In case you’re happy with the considered loans, start with Federal Sponsored and Unsubsidized loans on account of these are inclined to have the underside charges of curiosity and best value phrases. You might discover out additional about these proper right here.

Guarantee you realize the variations between backed and unsubsidized loans. Not all people will qualify for backed loans, nevertheless all people can get unsubsidized loans as long as they fill out the FAFSA.

Use Web Worth Calculators, or your free MyCAP account, to estimate what your pupil may get hold of from a university from all 3 lessons (benefit help, free need-based help and loans).

Keep in mind that Web Worth Calculators solely give an estimate and there isn’t any guarantee that your pupil will actually get hold of that amount. It could be lower or it might be bigger.

A financial safety college will in all probability be one that you just’re sure you could afford – you don’t need to attend and see what the school provides in help.

How Can Your Scholar Uncover Good Financial Safety Schools?

Straightforward Reply – Uncover the universities with the underside assured worth.

This doesn’t routinely suggest the underside sticker worth. The necessary factor proper right here is that you just’re trying to find a “assured” worth, not a “wait and see what we provide you with” worth.

Listed below are some good selections for financial safety schools:

  • In-State Public Colleges – notably the non-flagship campuses which can be often lower in worth
  • Out-of-State Public Colleges That Have Reciprocity Agreements with Your State – this will significantly decrease the worth of out-of-state tuition
  • Colleges with assured benefit scholarships – these are usually primarily based totally on a GPA and/or ACT/SAT score combination and usually have combos and portions listed out on the college’s website online. The right presents are schools offering assured full tuition and full journey scholarships. You might discover over 151 of these on Faculty Help Skilled’s Full Scholarship Report.

Most school college students will apply to a handful of colleges the place you could be anxious to see what the underside line worth will in all probability be.

Having on the very least one financial safety college inside the mix, that your pupil could be snug at, will help cut back down on the nervousness of prepared for financial help awards.

A minimal of you may know that there is a good risk accessible if all the universities don’t come via with the make it easier to want to see!


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